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Pioneering Progress: Unveiling India’s Next-Gen Manufacturing Strategy in Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices

By Zetwerk Editorial Team

Summit Blogs

24 May 2024

A Fireside Chat on Policy Insights, Investment Opportunities, and Sustainable Growth

In a Fireside Chat held at the ZETWERK Smart Manufacturing Summit 2024, Dr. Arunish Chawla, Secretary of the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, discussed policy insights and initiatives aimed at propelling the growth of these industries. The conversation revolved around the future of manufacturing in India, focusing on the pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors. 

A Strong Start and Ambitious Goals

The chat commenced by highlighting India’s achievements in the pharmaceutical domain, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when India emerged as a significant global supplier of vaccines. Dr. Chawla elaborated on the government’s roadmap to boost the pharmaceutical sector’s turnover from $40 billion in 2021 to $130 billion by 2030 and an ambitious target of $450 billion by 2047.

Policy Interventions and PLI Impact

One of the key points discussed was the impact of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme on the sector. Dr. Chawla announced the inauguration of forty greenfield plants for manufacturing bulk drugs and medical devices, a significant step towards reducing import dependence. This initiative reflects the government’s commitment to fostering domestic manufacturing capabilities and attracting investment from Indian and multinational companies.

FDI Inflows and Future Growth Prospects

The conversation shifted towards Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows with Dr. Chawla expressing confidence in sustained growth, citing increased investor confidence due to regulatory reforms and active participation in the PLI scheme. He emphasized the government’s focus on quality, innovation, and creating an enabling environment for industry players, including startups.

Focus Areas and Opportunities

Dr. Chawla outlined key focus areas for future manufacturing growth, including medical devices such as imaging devices, cancer therapy equipment, critical care, and anesthesia equipment. He also touched on opportunities for startups and the government’s support through initiatives like the Former Research and Innovation Program (PREP) and collaborations with academic institutions and multinational companies.

Quality Assurance and Global Competitiveness

Quality assurance emerged as a crucial theme, with Dr. Chawla highlighting India’s efforts to align with international standards, enhance manufacturing practices, and ensure the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products. He emphasized the need for continuous improvement and innovation to maintain India’s position as a global pharmaceutical leader.

Reducing Dependence on China and Sustainable Practices

The conversation also dwelled on reducing dependence on Chinese imports by diversifying and deepening value chains, focusing on high-value areas like biologicals, biosimilars, and next-generation therapies. Dr. Chawla also emphasized sustainability practices, including investment in research and development, generating intellectual property, and promoting green technologies within the industry.

Looking Ahead with Confidence

In closing, Dr. Chawla expressed optimism about the future of India’s pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors, highlighting the industry’s potential for exponential growth, global competitiveness, and contribution to the country’s economic prosperity. The conversation concluded with a positive outlook for the industry and a commitment to policy reforms that support innovation, quality, and sustainability.

Overall, the conversation provided valuable insights into the government’s strategic initiatives, industry trends, and opportunities shaping the future of manufacturing in India’s pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors.